Summer Learning at The Joy School

Summer Learning at The Joy School

The Joy School summer programs are a way for students to find the JOY in learning in a more relaxed summer environment with peers who share similar needs. During the program, students learn to celebrate their areas of strength while gaining skills and strategies to support their areas of weakness. Our summer programs also help bridge the gap between school years, and for our younger students, are a way to prepare for their first time at school. Students often return back to school or go to school for the first time in the fall with a renewed sense of confidence and a stronger understanding of themselves as learners.

We asked several teachers and students what their favorite parts of our summer programs this year were, and here were some of the moments that stood out to them.

In Mrs. Christou's Skill Builders class, students studied insects. During this unit, students practiced sentence building and worked on using details and words to express their excitement about what they were learning. This was one of Mrs. Christou's favorite activities because it allowed students to feel confident, since all the students had something they want to share about insects. "The excitement in their voices was absolutely contagious," she said.

During this unit, students also got to release ladybugs and butterflies into the garden. "One flew on me. I felt two crawling on my shoe. They are my favorite bug," one of Mrs. Christou's students exclaimed excitedly when talking about the ladybug release.

Mrs. Shelton, a Skill Builders summer program teacher, loved helping students work on their reading skills in her class. "The gains in just two and half weeks were amazing," she explained. One of Mrs. Shelton's students, in particular, made excellent reading progress, and as the student was doing readers in class wanted to read her book again and again. Mrs. Shelton even received messages from the student's mom explaining that her daughter was reading to everyone in the family. "She is so proud of herself and her mom is proud of her. Her mom thanked me for pushing her in class," Mrs. Shelton said.

In art with Ms. Do, students worked on mini replicas of Van Gogh's famous painting, The Bedroom. "I loved how we made 3D art about Vincent Van Gogh," one student explained. "Ms. Do said we should visit the art museum because they had an exhibit about Van Gogh. I went to the museum and got to be in his exhibit! It was very fun there! You all should go!"

While parents of students in lower school usually decide to send their children to The Joy School for summer programs, in middle school, students are encouraged to work with their parents to find a summer class that really speaks to them. One student in the Escape! class with Mrs. Shelton chose the class specifically because she enjoys escape rooms. "My mom gave me a list of camps, and I chose to come here," she explained. "The atmosphere is very inviting, and I like the activities because they are interactive," she said.

For other students, the choice to come to The Joy School for summer classes was harder and filled with more apprehension. "When my mom told me I was coming, I was nervous and scared," one student in Mastering Math said. "But when I came here, I felt comfortable. Now it feels like I want to come here next year!"

To learn more about The Joy School summer programming, sign up to receive summer programming updates. We will be announcing summer 2020 programming in January 2020, and signing up for email updates is a great way to be the first to know. Wishing you and your family a wonderful rest of summer!

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